Internacional are teetering on the brink of a challenging for their first Brasileirao title in 34 long years and Dunga’s squad will be severely tested this month, with 10 matches jammed into four weeks. September cumulates with Inter facing league-leaders Cruzeiro in Rio Grande do Sul, just how crucial could that match be?
Coritiba 0 x 0 Inter 01/09 Curitiba, 711 km
Inter 1 x 0 Corinthians 04/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
Ponte Preta 1 x 3 Inter 07/09 Campinas, 1177 km
Inter x Santos 10/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
Inter x Vitória 12/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
Criciúma x Inter 15/09 Criciúma, 291 km
Bahia x Inter 19/09 Salvador, 3074 km
Inter x Portuguesa 22/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
Inter x Atlético-PR 26/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
Inter x Cruzeiro 29/09 Novo Hamburgo, 35 km
D’Alessandro’s clever free-kick was enough to earn Inter their first win in eight games, as the Colorado haulted Corinthians’ 10-match unbeaten run in Novo Hamburgo.
Inter move up into sixth in the table and now face Ponte Preta in Sao Paulo state on Saturday.
There was controversy in the first-half when Fabricio thought he had scored, only for the goal to be ruled out. Damiao and Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio collided when challenging for the ball, and with the Corinthians goakeeper down injured, Fabricio scored into the unguarded net. Former Internacional coach Tite, was also sent off from the technical area after invading the field amidst the chaos.
Inter scored early in the second-half with D’Ale’s clever free-kick, after former Gremista Douglas had fouled.
You can view brief match highlights here:
INTERNACIONAL: Alisson, Gabriel, Índio, Juan e Fabrício; Ygor, Willians, D’Alessandro e Otávio (Caio – 33′/2ºT); Scocco (Josimar – 28′/2ºT)e Leandro Damião (Alex – 38′/2ºT)
CORINTHIANS: Cássio (Danilo Fernandes – 32′/1ºT); Edenilson, Gil, Paulo André e Fábio Santos (Alessandro – intervalo); Ralf e Ibson (Igor – 34′/2ºT); Danilo, Douglas e Romarinho; Emerson.
Dunga will make three enforced changes for tonight’s game against Corinthians in Novo Hamburgo. With Forlan on international duty, there’ll be a growing weight of expectation on Scocco – who is expected to be recalled to the team – to get amongst the goals.
Corinthians’ own top-scorer, Paolo Guerrero will also be unavailable due to his World Cup qualifying commitments with Peru.
Dunga’s other two suspended players are Jorge Henrique and rookie defender Alan. Alex and Fabricio are vying to replace JH alongside D’Ale and Indio will come into the Inter defence.
Alisson is again preferred to his brother and first-choice goalkeeper Muriel. In his first appearance of the Brasileirão, Alisson looked steady against Coritiba, earning a clean-sheet, but can be guaranteed a sterner test against a trigger-happy Corinthians side that gubbed Flamengo 4-0 last time out. There is also some talk that Kleber could make a return at left-back.
As I mentioned, Inter will need to be wary of Corinthians but Pato, who scored twice against Fla, is also away on international duty. Although Inter’s extended run of draws cast a shadow of negativity over the team’s progress, a draw against Corinthians would not necessarily be a bad result.
I’m hoping for big performances from Scocco and Alex who can bring fresh impetus to an Inter attack which looked served little against Corinthians.
A few goals here and confidence could give Inter a real push in momentum as they embark on a heavy run of fixtures, with two games a week for the entire month.
Now is the time for players to come into the side and kick on!
Let me know your views on comments here or on twitter @internacionaluk
Yes, as I’m sure you’re all completely aware, the summer transfer window closes today at 11pm (UK) and whisper it quietly, the name of Leandro Damiao – a staple feature of transfer windows past – has been largely anonymous from the usual whirlwind of rumours and speculation that surrounds him bi-annually.
Inter have said that they have had no enquiries for Damiao but have openly said they wound consider any offers which meet the club’s €25 million (R$ 78.2 million) valuation.
Barring a major surprise he is very unlikely to leave Inter today – although the club must still see out the Russian transfer window which closes on Friday. If you believe the rumours, Liverpool would appear to be the most likely to make any attempt to sign him but due to the complexities of his ownership, there just wouldn’t be time for exhaustive negotiations with all the parties concerned.
Having already sold Rodrigo Moledo and Fred this year to Ukrainian clubs Metalist Kharkiv and Shakhtar earlier this year for a combined €13 million (R$ 40 million), Internacional are in no real urgency to part ways with their biggest asset.
I’ve made a simple link for you to check on all the latest Twitter talk on Damiao right here:
Tweets about “leandro damiao”
I guess the question Internacional fans are pondering right now is at what stage does drawing games turn into a crisis? I don’t believe Cruziero’s 10 point lead at the top of the table is a too bigger gap to close down after just 17 rounds, in what is one of most unpredictable leagues in global football.
Though the fact is that Inter haven’t won a Serie A game since defeating Sao Paulo back in July, noises coming from the club are, unsurprisingly, positive.
Dunga: “No doubt the team made a good start, played as equals against a very strong opponent, we created good chances. The team imposed outside the home, it is important. Today the team was solid, gave no opportunity for the opponent and managed to create.”
D’Alessandro: “The draw was good, just that we come from many draws. A win would be much better. The team played well, better than Coritiba. The result is not coming. We will continue working because in a moment will come and will improve.”
The defence certainly showed an obvious improvement, having previously conceded eight goals in Inter’s previous four matches but what is most concerning was just how poor we were in attack.
The game against Corinthians on Wednesday provides Dunga with the perfect opportunity to make attacking changes. Diego Forlan will be absent with the Uruguayan squad, which would presumably see Scocco start. Jorge Silva will also be unavailable after picking up a third yellow card.
- Would a defeat against Corinthians confirm Inter are in crisis?
- Who should replace Jorge Henrique, Alex one?
- Are Inter’s Brasileirao hopes already over?
- Should the CBF award 3 points for a draw?
Inter draw their sixth straight game on Sunday against Coritiba.
The result keeps Inter in 7th place in the table but they are now winless in seven games and more significantly ten points behind Brasileirao leaders Cruzeiro.
D’Alessandro returned to the Inter side but was unable to steer the Colorado to victory.
Inter we let off the hook by an equally-looking toothless Coritiba side. The Inter defence were spared when Marcos Paulo’s cross was met by Bill, who comically miss-hit his effort in front of goal and an indefensible stray pass from Willians almost allowed Júnior Urso a clear run through on goal, but Inter were let off by a fantastic last ditch challenge from Ygor.
And when Inter did have chances, there was a lack composure and quality. Jorge Henrique saw a shot from outside of area parried away for a corner and Gabriel sent a rushed shot sailing over the bar
Coritiba talisman Alex proved a threat with his set-pieces throughout but 20-year-old goalkeeper Alisson was equal throughout to earn a clean-sheet in his first Brasilerao appearance of the season.
Inter finished the match with 10 men following the 83rd dismissal of inexperienced defender Alan, who collected a second yellow card.
Inter have little time to reflect on Sunday’s draw as they return to action in Rio Grande do Sul on Wednesday night against old foes Corinthians. Tasty stuff…
CORITIBA: Vanderlei; Victor Ferraz, Leandro Almeida, Chico e Escudero; Junior Urso (Bottinelli, 26′/2ºT), Willian (Gil, 18/2ºT), Lincoln e Alex; Geraldo e Bill (Júlio César, 9′/2ºT)
INTERNACIONAL: Alisson; Gabriel, Alan, Juan e Fabrício; Ygor, Willians, Jorge Henrique e D’Alessandro; Forlán (Scocco, 26′/2ºT) e Leandro Damião.
It’s been a while, 984 days to be precise, since the Internacional Offside blog was last updated.
This site proved to be a great platform to write about Internacional and with many years of experience following the club, I am quite interested in once again writing about the Colorado.
As for this site, I’m not sure what the current status is for The Offside, many of the once-thriving blogs seem to have long been forgotten about and the general site seems to be in disarray. After some research, it appears US sports blogging network SB Nation has in fact purchased The Offside and it seems some blogs have migrated over. Ideally, if I am to recommence updating the Internacional blog, then it would be more appealing to do so as part of the SB Nation platform … let’s wait and see what happens.
So anyway, here it is. This is me confirming the relaunch of the Internacional Offside blog- for now at least, sharing news, information, discussion points and pretty much everything in between about SC Internacional.
A YEAR OF HIGHS AND LOWS ENDS WITH INTER IN TRANSITION.
The Internacional squad arrived back in Rio Grande do Sul on Monday as the club’s lengthy season finally came to an end.
Despite being crowned South American champions in July following the Colorado’s Copa Libertadores triumph, Inter neglected their Campeonato Brasileiro commitments in order to preserve the squad for the FIFA Club World Cup or as commonly referred to in Brazil – the ‘Mundial’.
Arriving in Abu-Dhabi in high spirits, a heavily reported semi-final defeat at the hands of Congolese surprise package TP Mazembe, broke Colorado hearts ending dreams of a second ‘Mundial’ title in four years.
A comprehensive 4-2 win over South Korean club Seongnam in the third-place playoff did went someway to lifting the spirits of the large travelling Colorado contingent, but there is no doubting that the club’s failure to secure a place in the Club World Cup final is deemed as unacceptable.
In the aftermath of the shock defeat to Mazembe, question marks were immediately raised over the futures of midfielders Guiñazu and D’Alessandro (Boca Juniors and River Plate the respective interested parties). Celso Roth, who had earlier in the year steered the side to the Libertadores title, took much of the blame for Inter’s defeat to Mazembe with criticism levelled at his lack of ideas and uninspiring tactical changes.
Inter’s final match of the year also marked the end of Roberto ‘Pato’ Abbondanzieri’s career with the thirty-eight year old Argentine retiring. ‘Pato’ made his final professional appearance as a substitute in the victory against Seongnam, with his Inter teammates presenting him a with a signed number 22 shirt as a departing gift.
Abbondanzieri has not indicated whether he will continue in the game but spoke of his sadness of leaving Inter. “I’ve got to thank everyone at Inter for their companionship. My career as a player has reached its end but I’ll forever take these memories with me”, explained the former Boca Juniors man who won 49 international caps.
Roth to remain for 2011
Upon returning to Brazil, rumours of Celso Roth’s exit from Inter were widespread with the coach’s contract expiring at the end of the month. Dorival Junior, Abel Braga and Dunga were all mentioned as possible replacements, but yesterday, in an unpopular move by the club, news broke that the Roth had controversially agreed a one year extension to his contract with the club.
Changes at Gigante?
With Roth’s future at Inter confirmed, a number of question marks do remain over a number of the current squad as transfer speculation peaks in Brazilian football.
Possible key departures:
D’Alessandro – The playmaker has been in the best form of his career at Inter, playing an instrumental role in the club’s Libertadores title. After agreeing to remain at the club for the Club World Cup, a return to River Plate could prove tempting for D’Ale, whilst Inter already have
Giuliano and Oscar sitting in wait for a regular first team place.
Guiñazu – A tireless warrior in the heart of the Inter side, many were surprised a year ago when the Argentine almost joined São Paulo. Boca Juniors are said to be courting the thirty-two year old.
Alecsandro – Despite a respectable goal scoring record for Inter, the striker’s inconstinency continues to divide and fustraite fans. With Inter lacking pace up front, the Middle-East or Atlético-MG appear to be possible destinations for Alecsandro.
Marcelo Cordeiro – The left back returns to Inter after being loaned to Botafogo for the season. After falling out of favour at Inter, a return to Rio is likely with either Botafogo or Flamengo.
Danny Morais – Also loaned to Botafogo for the season, a product of the Inter ‘base’ (youth team), the centre back’s future remains unresolved upon his return to Porto Alegre.
Andrezinho – Palmeiras rumoured to be interested in the committed attacking midfielder who continues to struggle for a regular place in the Inter side. Can Inter do without such an experienced squad player?
Possible key arrivals:
Léo Moura – Experienced right back, who is rumoured to be close to leaving underachieving Flamengo. Could Léo Moura be a short-term solution to a position which seems to be an eternal problem for Inter? Marcelo Cordeiro could become a part of the negotiations.
Edinho – After captaining Inter to the Sudamericana title in 2007, the quiet holding midfielder had been linked with a return to the Beira-Rio after unsuccessful spells in Italy and Palmeiras – now expected to join Fluminense.
Kleber – With Inter needing to add firepower to their squad, twenty-seven year old Kleber would certainly fit the bill after gaining a reputation as one of the best strikers in the Campeonato Brasileiro. Owned by Dynamo Kiev but played for Palmeiras and Atlético-MG this season.
Luís Fabiano – Long linked with a move from Sevilla, would the experienced striker be prepared to return to Brazil and could Inter finance any possible deal? Inter would face extremely stiff competition for the former São Paulo striker.
So, Inter head into the new year with two main objectives: defending the Copa Libertadores title and challenging for the Campeonato Brasileiro – a title which has alluded the club since 1979.
The club’s transfer strategy over the next month or so will provide a significant bearing on Inter’s ambitions for the year which starts on 15th January with the Campeonato Gaúcho.
As the result of a major sponsorship agreement for the FGF, the 2011 Campeonato Gaúcho will be known as the Gauchão Coca-Cola 2011.
Inter will use its B-team to compete in the tournament to blood fringe squad players and young talent, in what could become another rollercoaster year for O Colorado.
Internacional’s Club World Cup campaign came to an abrupt end this afternoon after Congelese outfit TP Mazembe handed the Colorado a 2-0 defeat.
Inter started the game brightly with Tinga in particular looking problematic for the Mazembe defence. However after the initial period, Mazemba soon settled into their counterattacking game plan, with the pace of the Africa side proving to be a concern for Celso Roth’s side.
Despite a string of saves from the Mazemba keeper Kidiaba, Inter were unable to break the deadlock before halftime, with the African’s – who had stunned Mexican’s Pucha on Saturday – grew in confidence.
Inter failed to start the second half the same intensity which they had shown in at the beginning of the game and a nice strike from Kabangu gave Mazembe a shock 53rd minute lead.
The goal did little to spur Inter on as Roth introduced Giuliano and Leandro Damião, with any Kidiaba thwarting Inter’s attempts of levelling.
With minutes remaining, Mazembe confirmed Inter’s elimination from the tournament with Kaluyituka drilling in a well struck shot after generous defending from Inter.
Inter: Renan, Nei, Bolívar, Índio, Kleber, Guiñazu, Wilson Matius, D’Alessandro, Tinga (Giuliano), Rafael Sobis (Oscar), Alecsandro (Leandro Damião)
- Should Celso Roth step down as coach? Considering Roth has had months to prepare his team, physically and mentally (Inter conserved themselves throughout the final stages of the Brazilian championship), and other than the opening 15 minutes of today’s game, Inter looked stuck in second gear and naive defensively.
- He showed no real imagination in his changes, reliant on the raw talents of Leandro Damião and Oscar, whilst in replacing Tinga, he withdrew arguably Inter’s best player.
- Abel Braga anyone?
Internacional begin their quest to win their second Club World Cup this afternoon against unlikely semi-finalist TP Mazeme.
Four years ago, Inter – then coached by Abel Braga – stunned Barcelona in the final, thanks to Adriano Gabiru’s second half winner.
Having qualified for the Club World Cup after winning the Copa Libertadores last July, Inter conserved themselves for the final stages of their Campeonato Brasileiro campaign and the squad arrive in Abu-Dhabi at both full strength and full fitness.
Inter coach Celso Roth will field a tried and tested 4-2-2-2 formation with Guiliano – who was voted the best player of the Copa Libertadores – having to make due with a place on the bench. A victory for Inter would see them reach Saturday’s final.
Inter’s opponents TP Mazembe, caused a major upset in their quarter-final tie with Pachuca after holding out to a famous 1-0 victory over the Mexicans.
Whilst Inter will be confident of breaking down the Congolese side, Celso Roth will be aware of Mazembe’s counter-attacking pace.
Inter: Renan; Nei, Bolívar, Índio, Kleber; Wilson Matias, Guiñazu, Tinga, D’Alessandro; Rafael Sobis, Alecsandro